Picture of How To Make A Shadow Picture!
The idea of a shadow picture is to layer multiple sheets of paper together in various numbers to inhibit the sun's light to shine through. The varying thicknesses create lighter and darker areas that create a picture. Making one can be difficult or can be easy, largely depending on the type of picture chosen. (I.E. A picture with frequent, sharp contrasts versus a picture that has larger, less contrasting shades. It generally is hard to determine what pictures may be difficult or easy until you begin a project.)

These generally take me between 3-5 hours. All shown pictures took me about 3 hours, and the Blue Oyster Cult picture took me closer to 5 hours. It is definitely worth the time.

(Props to my friend for making them before me and giving me the idea,)

Step 1: Get Supplies!

Picture of Get Supplies!
The supplies you need are very basic...

::6+ sheets of printer/blank paper
Each sheet can be used as:
1: The sheet used to trace the initial picture to determine shades. This will also be cut up.
2. Your initial picture. I copied photos into Word and enlarged to taste.
3. "White" layer sheet. This sheet will be on top of all pages. I generally type lyrics onto this sheet. This sheet is not cut.
4. "Light Grey" Layer sheet. This sheet (alone with "White" sheet) creates the light grey areas. This will be cut to include L. Grey, D. Grey, and Black.
5. "Dark Grey" Layer sheet. This sheet layered on both the White and L Grey creates D Grey. This area will also become a layer for Black.
6. "Black" layer sheet. This layer consists of 4 sheet thicknesses.

::X-Acto Knife
::Rubber Cement (I avoid glue/modge podge because these can warp paper easily.)
::Lightbox (if you do not have a lightbox, an adequate "flat" light source will work such as a window so you can write on the paper)
::4+ Bobby Pins, tape, or other means of security.
::Cutting Board
::Printer (optional, if you choose to find a picture on the internet)
Miscelinious (author) 5 years ago
Newest Shadow Picture: Blue Öyster Cult album cover. (: Picture one is the picture created, the second in the original.
Photo06121941_1.jpgBOCalbum cover.jpg
Miscelinious (author) 3 years ago
Edit :: Thanks for the high ratings, everyone. :) Based on some comments, I realized the Instructable is confusing in some areas, so I just went back and erased many of my unnecessary commentary. I also clarified some steps and what exactly each layer is. I hope this will help~

These are great! It's also nice to see someone with such stellar taste in music! I'll be doing one of these for sure.
Miscelinious (author)  justa_person5 years ago
thank you, much. (: make sure if you make on that you post it so we can see what you made!
I think I'll be doing one of Jaco... already found the right image : )
Fafnir9565 years ago
I felt that the directions were a little confusing, especially since it shows you cutting multiple layers of paper at once as opposed to cutting the guide paper and only one other sheet at the same time, which seemed to work the best to me. I had to repeatedly sharpen my knife as well. Once I figured out what I was doing, this became a fun project with very good results.
Miscelinious (author)  Fafnir9565 years ago
Thanks. (:

I'm pretty sure that i was only cutting one sheet per time along with the guide sheet. I'm thinking that you may have gotten confused when i was demonstrating how the layers would look together.

And as far as knife sharpening, i can't help you there. I just used a Victorinox pocket knife. They are my favorite knives for everything. But i did use a sharp knife to do the entire project without it getting dull.

And what did you do a picture of, may i ask? (:
I did a picture of feet. Enjoy. :)
Miscelinious (author)  Fafnir9565 years ago
:D That is amazing! I really dig those feet. ;) thanks for sharing!
geenahhh5 years ago
this is so cool!!
i don't think i have the patience to do this though.
eulaliaaaa!5 years ago
Cool 'ible by the way.
gps555j6 years ago
Hah! This is amazing! nice to know there are other Led Zeppelin fans:)!
Miscelinious (author) 6 years ago
well, i tried to do Jimmy Page. and i decided to stop at tracing because there was no way I'd have enough patience to continue this picture... but it still looks really cool just after tracing it, so i went over the pencil with ink and hung it up in my room instead of cutting it up.
Miscelinious (author) 6 years ago
Haha. I just noticed a mistake. On the part where I'm finished cutting the second layer, I didn't cut out his hand holding the microphone's wire. be careful.
yeah XD I noticed that too.
Charles IV6 years ago
Yeah Zeppelin!
jakezcop6 years ago
this is awsome... im in to the papery stuff so ill have to try this sometime :D
I think this is a fabulous project! I'll be linking in today's Daily DIY.
Miscelinious (author)  OnePrettyThing6 years ago
oh wow! Thank you!
It's like a stencil but sort of in reverse. Interesting. If you make it bigger, you could get more detail in, which would make using non-iconic figures more feasible.
Miscelinious (author)  poeticoddity6 years ago
That's what I've done, i've enlarged the pictures to be only in a 81/2"X11" paper... My friend attempted to do one that was 2 feet by 3 feet of George Harrison, but she only got so far on it. (and she had to draw George Harrison's face freehand because she couldn't print out something that large) You could definitely do a non-iconic person, but I personally think that it would just be strange to have people you know with sunken eyes and such... But hey, if you do end up doing that, i'd really like to see it. (:
Miscelinious (author) 6 years ago
Thanks, you guys! :D
ChrysN6 years ago
Those look great, nice work!
scoochmaroo6 years ago
Very creative!
i agree!